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Figures & Stories

Alternatively, browse terms in alphabetical order according to their Chinese Pinyin 汉语拼音

Chinese Pinyin: Ba Xian
Chinese: 八仙
Name Of Image: Eight Daoist Immortals
Description:

The eight Daoist Immortals confirmed by Wu Yuantai (吴元泰, active around 1566) in his novel ‘A Journey to the East by the Eight Daoist Immortals’ 《八仙出处东游记》 are Li Tieguai 李铁拐 (Iron-Crutch Li 铁拐李), Lan Caihe 蓝采和, Zhang Guolao 张果老, Han …

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Chinese Pinyin: Bai Gui Bao En
Chinese: 白龟报恩
Name Of Image: White-backed tortoise repaying gratitude
Description:

When Prefect Mao Bao 毛宝 was stationed in the city of Wuchang 武昌, Hebei province, during the Jin dynasty (晋 265-420), there was a story about a white tortoise who repays its benefactor by saving his life. One day, one …

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Chinese Pinyin: Bing Ji Wen Niu Chuan
Chinese: 丙吉问牛喘
Name Of Image: Bing Ji inquiring about a panting buffalo
Description:

When Bing Ji (丙吉 d. 55 BCE) was a chancellor in the Han court, once he encountered the aftermath of a gang fight in the street. Bing Ji passed them without batting an eyelid. Further ahead, a buffalo passed and …

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Chinese Pinyin: Bo Yi Shu Qi Kou Ma Jian Zhou Wang
Chinese: 伯夷、叔齐叩马谏周王
Name Of Image: Bo Yi and Shu Qi Trying to Stop the Mighty Zhou Army
Description:

Bo Yi (or Boyi, 伯夷) and Shu Qi (or Shuqi, 叔齐) were sons of the ruler of Guzhu (孤竹), a vassal state of the Shang dynasty (商朝, 16th-11th cent. BCE). As the king was getting old, he wanted Shu Qi, …

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Chinese Pinyin: Chang E Ben Yue
Chinese: 嫦娥奔月
Name Of Image: Chang E the Moon Goddess
Description:

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival falls on the night of full moon in the eighth lunar month. Chang E, the Moon Goddess, is usually associated with this family-union occasion, together with the festival food – the moon cake (月饼). A legend …

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Chinese Pinyin: Chen Ping Fen Rou
Chinese: 陈平分肉
Name Of Image: Chen Ping Dividing Meat
Description:

Young Chen Ping (陈平, ?–178 BCE), later a minister of Western Han dynasty, as being an exemplar of fairness in his everyday work. According to Sima Qian’s (司马迁, 145BCE – ?) famous work Historical Records – Prime Minister Chen’s Family …

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Chinese Pinyin: Diao Mei He Geng
Chinese: 调梅和羹
Name Of Image: Seasoning a Stew with Sour Prunes
Description:

‘Diao Mei He Geng 调梅和羹’ is a metaphor that likens the art of governing a country to the adequate seasoning of a stew with salt and sour prunes. The scene is often made up of a group of women or …

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Chinese Pinyin: Du Liniang You Yuan Jing Meng
Chinese: 杜丽娘游园惊梦
Name Of Image: A Startled Romantic Dream in the Back Garden
Description:

‘True love conquers all’ is the theme of the Peony Pavilion (牡丹亭 Mudan Ting), a musical play of fifty-five scenes written by Tang Xianzu (汤显祖, 1550-1616) in Ming dynasty. Also known as The Romance of Return of Soul (还魂记 Huanhun …

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Chinese Pinyin: Hai Wu Tian Chou
Chinese: 海屋添筹
Name Of Image: May the length of your life be eternally prolonged!
Description:

In this scene, there are several Chinese longevity symbols such as the crane, the generic immortal, the pine tree, and the deer, etc. However, the proper meaning of this particular scene is not a simple assemblage of individual symbols. It …

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Chinese Pinyin: Jiang Tai Gong Wei Bin Chui Diao
Chinese: 姜太公渭滨垂钓
Name Of Image: Jiang Ziya Was Discovered Angling by Baron of Zhou by the Wei River
Description:

When the Baron of the Zhou vassal state (周西伯) did a divination with oracle bones for his imminent hunting trip, the message came: ‘You will not catch a small bear or a large bear, but a teacher will be presented …

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